Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Through Your Eyes

Through Your Eyes                                 There's an Angel on my Bed

  Through your eyes                                            I watch you sleep...
  I see the world's mine                                       your eyes peacefully closed...
  and so is the time .                                            your face calmed, relaxed
  when I'm at your side.                                       and suddenly I realize...
                                                                            There's an Angel on my bed.
  Through your eyes
   my life has meaning ~                                       I watch you sleep...
  my heart has a sound ~                                     the gentle sound of your breath;
  my soul's more alive.                                         your chest moving up and down
                                                                            and suddenly, I realize
  Through your eyes                                            There's an Angel on my bed.
  I can see my past ~
  so dark, so scary ~                                           I watch you sleep
  and then you arrived.                                       and I know of all Men
                                                                            I'm the luckiest Man on Earth!
 Through your eyes
  I can see the future ~                                       There's no doubt about this fact
  so clear, so promising ~                                   as I suddenly realize...
  so “bound to be good”.                                     There's an Angel on my bed.
  Through your eyes
  I see my own being;
  my self becomes real;
  my life becomes love.                                            Soon You'll be Here
                                                                                   Soon you'll be here.
         Pablo                                                    You'll bring us joy,
                                                                                   you'll bring us winter,
 SOON YOU'LL BE HERE                                         you'll bring us warmth.
    ...is a poem I wrote for Jessica.
                                                                                   Soon you'll be here.
  She was born before                                                We'll give you attention,
  I finished this writing.                                              we'll give you care
                                                                                   we'll give you love.
                                                                                   Soon you'll be here.  
                                                                                   Our lives will change
                                                                                   all for the best.

                                                                                  Soon you'll be here.
Submitted by Merle Baird-Kerr                          You'll make for us
        September 20, 2011                                      a whole new world!

"Evening Reverie" is a prose article I wrote a few weeks ago, 
  which I shall soon publish.

Our Lives

    Our Lives                                                   Friendship
We,ve seen other                                                    I asked the moon...   
in desperation;                                                       I asked the sun...
we've seen each other                                            I asked the sea...
in the worst of times.                                             what friendship is.  

But now we are happy...                                        They didn't know.
our lives are plenty.                                               They weren't sure
You have your partner ~                                       but then they said,
I have my wife.                                                      "The trees might know."    

We've been blind walkers                                      So, off I went
but now we are not.                                               to find some trees
Darkness has vanished                                          and listen to the whisper
                                                                               of their leaves.  
The time has come!
At last, they're shining                                           I asked the trees,
...our lucky stars.                                                   I asked their leaves,
                                                                               I asked them all...
Pablo...this was my first poem                             what friendship is.
in English...written to Antonio;
we have been friends over 20 years                      They softly whispered,
and been through a lot together.                           "Friendship is
                                                                               two souls in one ~
FRIENDSHIP...was one                                         like you and me."
of my early poems in English.

Submitted by  Merle Baird-Kerr
September 20, 2011

I enjoy Pablo's poetry...so simply written,
yet expressing his inner sentiments.
My next posting ~ two poems addressed to his wife, Patricia.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Poems have been written, songs have been sung, stories have been told ...
about human desires that have fulfilled... or defeated our dreams.
We have experienced both throughout our lives.
I share the following expressions with you.

A Relationship is a Connection between or among people. It is difficult to define because of its complexity. Much has been written by psychologists
about their analyses on this topic.
Very simply, a Relationship is the Heart of Human Desire!

The things that people in love do to each other they remember;
and if they stay together ,
it's not because they forget, it's because they forgive. (Indecent Proposal)

Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of feeling “safe” with a person,
having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together,
certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness, blow the rest away.
(Dinah Craik, A Life for a Life, 1859)

If you are going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make,
who would you call? and what would you say? and why are you waiting?
(Stephen Levine)

Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade. (Leo Buscaglia)

Sticks and stones are hard on bones
aimed with angry art.
Words can sting like anything
but silence breaks the heart.
(Phyllis McGinley – Ballade of Lost Objects, 1954)

Someone to tell it to is one of the fundamental needs of human beings.
(Miles Franklin)

You can kiss your family and friends good-bye and put miles between you,
but at the same time, you carry them with you in your heart and mind
because you do not just live in a world, but the world lives in you.
(Frederick Bucchner)

Present your family and friends with their eulogies now...
they won't be able to hear how much you love them and appreciate them
from inside the coffin. (Anonymous)

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind, “Pooh,” he whispered, “Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh's paw, “I just wanted to be sure of you.”
(A. A. Milne)

Let us be grateful to people who make us happy;
they are the charming gardeners
who make our souls blossom. (Marcel Proust)

Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone
who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down. (Oprah Winfrey)

There are times when two people need to step apart from one another,
but there is no rule that says they have to turn and fire. (Robert Brault)

Soul-mates are people who bring out the best in you.
They are not always perfect, but are always perfect for you.
(Author unknown)

Getting to know someone is like opening a safe;
you need to learn the unique combination of numbers. (Delmore Schwartz)

Human Relationships just aren't fixed in their orbits; they're more like galaxies...
changing all the time, exploding into light years, then dying away. (Mary Sarton)

It is the things in common
that make relationships enjoyable...
but it is the little differences
that make them interesting.

Love is not about finding the right person,
but creating a right relationship.
It's not about how much love you have in the beginning
but how much love you build to the end.

Relationships are like snapshots; some you remember and some you forget;
unfortunately some you never develop
and you never see how they would have turned out.

The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree, while still holding hands.

The most wonderful of all things in life,
I believe, is the discovery of another human being
with whom one's relationship has a growing depth,
beauty and joy as the years increase.
This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings
is the most marvellous thing.
It cannot be found by looking for it
or by passionately wishing for it.
It is a sort of divine accident
and the most wonderful of all things in life

Merle Baird-Kerr
written February 27, 2010

My next blog submission is composed by a family man...and his wife,
who a few years ago immigrated to our city, from Argentina.
Pablo expresses his emotions and love for his family and friends.
They are now Canadian citizens...totally enchanted with their new homeland.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Why Leaves Change Colour

Autumn is often referred to as the “picture perfect” season
as splashes of colour fill trees across the country.

The fall colour season has already begun in the province of Ontario
with parts of northern and eastern regions reporting a 5-10% change.
Pockets of vibrant reds and yellow are beginning to show,
but green currently remains dominant across much of the country.

Travel and Tourism officials say colours usually begin to peak
by the end of September and into October.

Why do the Leaves Change Colour?

It's all about photosynthesis, how a tree feeds itself,”
says The Weather Network's Chris St. Clair.

The leaves take in water and carbon dioxide and when you add in the sun,
the leaf cooks up glucose, a kind of sugar that helps a tree grow. When this is happening, chlorophyll is being created that gives leaves their green colour and when the days become shorter and cooler, it signals the tree to stop creating food and chlorophyll.”

St. Clair adds that the lack of chlorophyll is what reveals the tree's
natural yellow and orange colour and the red is a sign of trapped glucose.

Tree stress can affect whether the fall show will be spectacular or not. Things like drought, extreme temperatures and air pollution can make the leaves dull.

(a cartoon by David Gilbert in an August issue of The Spec)
...shows his dog asleep in the fenced yard...stretched out on his tummy
with chin resting on its folded paws...
having a “dog dream”

Summer fun is all but done.
The leaves in the breeze
in all the trees
will soon be old and gone.

Warmth will stay but soon go away,
as lower sinks the sun.
Birds make way and go astray
grouped together as one.

South in the sky, they fly so high
catching the wind in their wings.
Soon they'll find a paradise
to perch and rest and sing.

The sky will grey, the green will fade
and the ground will be covered in white;
so inside we'll stay with fire to aid
while the day grows shorter than night.

Why things change is all a wonder;
yet these thoughts don't concern me...
because today I'll lie in the cool, green grass
and soak in the end of summer.

Merle Baird-Kerr
written September 16, 2011

The Leaves of Autumn

Yesterday was cool and sunny as I drove to Campbellville
to lunch at The Mohawk Inn Restaurant.
Surprisingly, I viewed the first colour paintings of Jack Frost 's
on a couple maple branches.
This article I wrote last year...describing the beauty of our geographical location.

There is harmony in autumn
and a lustre in the sky,
which through the summer is not heard or seen.
(Percy Bysshe Shelly)

The Leaves of Autumn

The stifling hot summer has passed
and with its relief
Autumn knocks on its door.

Warm sunny days and evenings of chill...
(when A/C not in need)
How lovely to waken to singing of birds!
It's School Days, Thanksgiving and Hallowe'en.

Suddenly, I'm aware of the highway beauty...
wonder gazing...the Escarpment
to the north and to the west.
If an artist, on canvas painted
the hillside trees, lofting to limestone cliffs,
in flaming yellows, hot oranges, reds,
the golds, the russets and sumac's deep wine
all mottled with forest green sprinklings
of cedars, the spruce and the pines,
...how mesmerized we'd be
with the palette of colours...so brilliant
that only Mother Nature could create!

I drive 'round bend on the high-level bridge
to marvel geography's vista!
Before my eyes, a panorama unfolds:
Burlington Bay...white sails still a-flutter;
Hamilton city's escarpment setting;
Cootes Paradise...so scenic,
so quiet, so peaceful, so serene;
the trees...a mosaic of colour
...they kiss the water's edge
as they descend the lush valley
from the Lilac Garden above.

A gentle breeze wafts the fluffy white clouds
drifting ever so slow 'cross pale azure skies.

“The Four Seasons”
(not only a quartet of renown)
is unique to our home on this planet.

Where else can Christmas enthrall us...
pristine snow on evergreens,
strewn coloured lights and an outdoor rink,
the icy blue of Lake and streams?
Ever been enraptured ...with the sculptures of ice
along Ontario's shore?

The Full Moon...have you viewed it
on a frigid cold night
and heard the Huskies howl?

Nature's resource delivers
unlimited Springtime balm;
the budding of pastel greens,
forsythias of golden yellow;
Spring's fleeting blossoms
forecast... their sweet juicy fruit.
A walk in the woodlands...
a shaded canopy
where the trilliums and the violets grow
on the carpeted forest floor.

We'll not overlook the Summer's haze
...and the long lazy days;
the hot dogs at Hutch's
and a stroll through fine sand;
the Lake's rippling waters;
sandals, bikinis and sun-tanned bodies;
patio parties and outdoor cafes
with weeping willow views
of the vast blue waters
where the freighters inch
to the Bridge and the Harbour.
'Tis “Cottage Country Time”
away from the sprawl.


“Mother Earth”...if we listen to her...
gives us the elixir...to enjoy all seasons.
Such ecstasy it can be!

The American Indians of the Northwest
All of Nature has a Spiritual Life.

Merle Baird-Kerr    written October 18, 2010

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

An Eagle Kissed by God

Recently, I posted articles about Heroes. I cannot escape from this topic, 
it seems, without relaying to you...a very unique experience about Jeff,
in Washington State, who befriended a Bald Eagle and became its Hero! “Freedom”, who survived, in turn, became a Hero to others. 
                      Many thanks, I extend to my friend Carolyn in Louisiana
                                  for sending me this awesome story.

This is the kind of story you need when it seems like the world 
is spiralling out of control. Not many people get a picture 
of this proud bird snuggled up next to them.

Freedom and I have been together 11 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way,
even after surgery...it was broken in 4 places. She's my baby.

When Freedom came in, she could not stand and both wings were broken.
She was emaciated and covered with lice. We made the decision to give her
a chance at life, so I took her to the vet's office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was
loaded up with shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk
to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me
with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube-feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4 to 6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand.
It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she 
couldn't stand in a week...You know you don't want to cross that line
between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. 
She was going to be put down that Friday, and I was supposed to come in 
on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go the the centre that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; 
but I went anyway, and when I walked in, everyone was grinning
from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was...
                      Standing...on her own! A big beautiful Eagle! 
               She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. 
                                    That was “a very good day” !

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove her.
I got used to the glove, and then the jesses, and we started doing
education programs for schools in western Washington. We wound up
in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV. Miracle Pets
did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. I had
stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere, so I wound up
doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair...the whole bit! I missed a lot of work.
When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvary and take Freedom out for walks.
Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer.
This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November, 2000, the day after Thanksgiving.
I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not completely gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. 
I went Monday and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk.
It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them pressing in on my back. I was engulfed in eagle wings. Then she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that, for I don't know how long...that was a 'magic moment'. We have been soul mates ever since she came in.  This is a very special bird!

On a side note: I have had people who were sick, come up to us when we were out together, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honour I have
of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Hope you enjoy this! May God Bless You All.

But they that wait upon the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings as eagles;
they shall run, and not be weary;
and they shall walk, and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31)

Merle Baird-Kerr
written September 8, 2011

Postscript: The Bald Eagle is the US national emblem. It has dark brown body and wings and a white head and tail. Its legs and feet are bright yellow, as is its large hooked bill. Its piercing eyes are light yellowish-brown. Females, larger than the males, have a 6 1/2 to 7 foot wing spread (males 6 to 6 1/2 foot).
Bald Eagles are found only in North America, generally in the coastal areas
or near large inland lakes and rivers that have abundant fish and shores with large trees. Many of the Bald Eagles that breed in Washington, are permanent residents. Some birds from western Washington, leave the state in late summer and early fall and move north to exploit food sources...such as salmon...then return by January to breed. (Some birds that breed farther north, winter in Washington.)

The Bald Eagle, formerly ranged from Alaska and Canada and south into United States.  Today, the Bald Eagle can be found in every state except Hawaii. These eagles are more prevalent in Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Oregon...the largest concentration  in US is in Alaska.
Many Bald Eagles can be found in Canada. In the past 4 or 5 years, they have returned to the Lake Erie shores. In May, 2011, two young Bald Eagles were building a nest high...in a white pine tree in woodlands of Burlington's Royal Botanical Gardens! Nature lovers locally were enthralled!

Through further research, we know that dogs and cats have not only been of
therapeutic value to patients in hospitals and nursing homes, but have alarmed
people, and saved lives in life-threatening situations. They, like Freedom, have
become Heroes!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Niagara Miracle

A Hero

                               A hero thinks of others before they think of themselves.
                               A hero will die to protect.
                               A hero can be of any age or colour.
                               A hero can be man, woman or child.
                               A hero is courageous, loving and brave.
                               A hero will never complain.
                               A hero can be made in one act of compassion
                                  or years of tender, loving care.
Some heroes are remembered, whilst others are left forgotten.

Heroes are angels in disguise saving precious innocent lives.

(Nicola Burkett)

This poem introduces my final submission about Heroes...
perhaps the most dramatic, the most heart-rending, the most “close-to-home”
experience that affected us all...emotionally and significantly!

Perhaps one of the most miraculous stories ever told took place at Niagara Falls on Saturday afternoon, July 9, 1960. A man from Niagara Falls, New York, 
took two neighbour children for a boat ride in the upper Niagara River.
The boat developed motor trouble, capsized into the river and all three were
thrown into the upper rapids. The man went over the Falls and was killed.

At the same time, the 17 year old girl was plucked 6m (20 ft) from the very edge of the Falls and her 7 year old brother, wearing only a life jacket and a bathing suit, went over the Horseshoe Falls. He came out alive to tell his story.
His name was Roger Woodward.

Luckily, one of the scenic Maid of the Mist boats was just making its turn below the Falls when one of the crew spotted the bright orange life jacket. The veteran Captain Clifton Keech manoeuvered the boat so that the crew could pick up the boy on the starboard side. After two unsuccessful throws, a life preserver landed within reach of the crying youngster. Lifted safely on board the vessel, Roger mumbled his concern about his sister.

Within the hour, word spread of this Niagara Miracle. Roger was whisked
to the Greater Niagara Hospital in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where he remained for three days with a slight concussion.

Another miracle was occurring at the brink of the Horseshoe Falls
on the American side at Terrapin Point (on Goat Island). Seventeen year old Deanne Woodward was being furiously swept towards the brink of the Falls. Hundreds stood at the brink of the Falls ...almost paralysed
with concern for the plight of this young girl.

Two men, both from New Jersey but unknown to each other, sprang into action.
John R. Hayes, a truck driver (also and auxiliary police officer ) from Union,
New Jersey climbed over the rail, stretched out his arm and pleaded with Deanne...later said that his pleading voice made her swim harder and she caught his thumb just before going over the Falls. Fearful the current would break his hold on the young girl, he shouted for help. Climbing over the railing, John Quattrochi of Pennsgrove, New Jersey came to the rescue and the two
pulled the frightened teenager to safety. Once on land, Deanne's concern
was also for her brother. Quietly, John Quattrochi whispered, “Pray for him”.

With only a cut hand, Deanne was rushed to a hospital in Niagara Falls, New York where she learned of her brother's miraculous fate. The body of the man who had taken them on a boat ride, Jim Honeycutt, was freed from the depths of the Niagara River four days later.

Roger Woodward returned to Niagara Falls, Ontario on the thirtieth anniversary of the accident and spoke to the congregation at the Glengate Alliance Church. The audience was hushed as the 37 year old told how the 12-foot aluminum fishing boat equipped with a 8.5 horsepower motor was caught in the fast flowing current, capsizing after hitting a shoal and breaking an engine pin.

Recalling his thoughts from the rapids, he said, “For me there was initially pure panic. I was scared to death. I can remember going through the rapids...
and being thrown against the rocks and being bounced around like a toy in the water and being beaten up pretty badly. My panic very quickly shifted to anger and the anger was from seeing people running frantically up and down the shoreline and wondering...why they wouldn't come out and rescue me.”

Roger Woodward then said, After fear and anger, came peace. There was a time I thought I was going to die and my seven years of life literally passed before me and I started thinking what my parents would do with my dog and my toys and had really given up at that point and felt I was going to die that afternoon.”

Roger Woodward did not die that afternoon and has made several trips with his family to Niagara since the miraculous incident.

In 1994, Roger Woodward and his sister, Deanne Woodward Simpson once more travelled to Niagara Falls to retell their story on a half-hour Canadian television special. Joining them were the two gentlemen, now both in their eighties, who rescued Deanne from above the Falls. For Deanne, it was an extremely emotional meeting. She had not seen both gentlemen for over 30 years, nor had she since stood at the edge of the Falls that had almost claimed  both her life and that of her brother.

Reflecting on the accident years later, Roger Woodward said,
It wasn't the hand of fate. It wasn't the hand of luck.
It wasn't the spirit of Lelawala.
It was the spirit of the living God that saved my life that day and saved my sister
and gave us hope that one day, we would come to meet Him.”

Notation: Lelawala is a Native American Legend about “The Maid of the Mist”.

   Postscript: Following the news of this near-tragedy, I recall a newspaper  
                     depiction  of "a black hand grasping the hand of a white girl"
                     rescuing her from the turbulent rapids near the Fall's jagged rim.
Merle Baird-Kerr
written September 4, 2011

Dear Readers: Numerous stories can be told and written about Heroes. Initially I had selected three which increased to six...each one totally worthy...historically and of heroic actions today.

We cannot overlook the heroes of September 11, 2011
at Ground Zero in New York City.

A Tribute to Entenmann's Lady                 Cross Among the Ruins

Heroes come in different forms                  On an early September morning
And some are never known.                        Hatred reared its ugly head.
Giving all they could possibly give              Terrorism struck Manhatten.
From their hearts and on their own.           Its wake left thousands dead.

Susan is one of these heroes                       It truly was a miracle...
Who ran...before being asked.                    How many lives were saved.
She knew the horror and suffering there:   Overshadowed by the horror
Performing one of life's greatest tasks.       Of the war-like rubbled gravel.

The pictures show the work she's done      Time seemed frozen, hope was lost
To help feed the folks at Ground Zero.       For loved ones left behind.
The Entenmann's Lady deserves credit      Trying to hold on... to their faith,
And the title of “American Hero”.               Praying God gives a sign.

     (Eleanor...the Songwriter)                       Uncovered from the wreckage
    (Susan Vitti obtained from                      A sight that seemed unreal...
Entenmann's  Master Bakery: pies             A cross...that stood 'bout 20 feet
  cookies, cakes, donuts, bagels.                 From twisted beams of steel.
  She brought other necessities
       that could be used. )                                         (Marge Batzer)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rick Hansen's Cross-Country Relay

Canada's celebrated Man in Motion, Rick Hansen, will launch a cross-country relay in  Cape Spear, Newfoundland, this summer...25 years to the date of his journey home after a world-wide tour that highlighted the "potential of people" with disabilities.

The relay will pass through more than 600 communities during the nine-month, 12,000 kilometre journey, which is scheduled to start August 24, 2011 and finish in Vancouver on May 22, 2012,

Approximately 7,000 people will participate in the relay, chosen in a contest in the spring of 2001, the 53-year-old British Columbia native said in an interview on CBC News Network.

“We wanted to do something that was reminiscent of the original tour, but really focusing on how much further we've come,” said Hansen. “What better way to do that ~ to move from one person to many, to actually identify 7,000 people who have made real change in communities all across Canada along that original route, and celebrate their stories and success.”

Although Hansen will launch the journey in Newfoundland and Labrador,
and make twenty appearances along the route, the participants will  "drive the relay", collectively, covering an average of 40 to 80 kilometres a day. A Rick Hansen medal produced by the Royal Canadian Mint will be passed from one person to the next along the trek.

In more densely populated areas, participants will cover an average distance of 250 metres using different varieties of movement. During the longer distances between communities, innovative forms of transportation will include hand-cycling, snowmobiling, adaptive rowing and other approaches.

Rick Hansen

A spinal cord injury in a car crash at age 15 left Rick Hansen, who was born in Port Alberni, British Columbia, paralysed from the waist down.
After rehabilitation, he returned to his passion for sports and won
19 international marathons, including six medals as a Paralympian.

At age 27 on March 21, 1985, he began his original Man in Motion tour, eventually wheeling 40,000 kilometres through 34 countries over two years before returning home to Vancouver, having raised $26 million to increase awareness about disabilities.

Since then,the Rick Hansen Foundation has generated more than $200 million for quality of life projects, awareness programs and research.

There are hundreds of thousands of people who have been working day in and day out in local communities, bringing this to people's attention,” said Hansen, “and we want their stories to be told because it gives us a sense of “Wow, we're making progress and it's happiness because people care.”

The relay across Canada is part of a two-year anniversary project for the Rick Hansen Foundation that began March 21, celebrating the progress made in accessibility for disabled people and spinal cord injury research.

We need to inspire the next generation. Kids everywhere have passion,
and they have the ability to make a difference,” Hansen said.

We want to be able to channel that toward encouraging young scientists
to find a cure. How many kids sitting in classrooms today might be thinking
about what they might do...to advance one of the greatest challenges
that medical science has ever embarked on?”

Merle Baird-Kerr
written August 25, 2011

Sunday, September 4, 2011

'Falcon of Malta'

George 'Buzz' Beurling was a celebrated Second World War fighter pilot
who lived to fly! Some describe him as a rebel and recluse, but Beurling
is being remembered for the phenomenal pilot that he proved himself to be....”
wrote a Spectator journalist in September 1st issue...2011.

He was the most decorated pilot of Canada's WWII effort
but still mostly unknown to the Canadian public.

This story so intrigued me, that I take the liberty to relate excerpts
from the article written.

His exceptional vision, his eyesight enabled him to identify enemy aircraft
way before others could,” Rick Beurling said Thursday as his brother,
Flight Officer George Frederick Beurling, DSO, DFC, DFM and Bar (RCAF)
was remembered in a tribute at the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum
in Hamilton, Ontario.

A life-size bronze statue in honour of the fallen hero
was unveiled , September 1 (Thursday) in front of a packed hangar.
Behind it stood a Mark XVI Spitfire, similar to the one Buzz commanded.

As Canada's lead fighter ace in the Second World War, Beurling confirmed 32 victories in his four years with Britain's Royal Air Force and the Royal Canadian Air Force.

In July 1942, Malta was being bombarded by the Germans and Italians.
Beurling achieved 15 victories by shooting down 15 enemy planes in just seven flying days. He went on to score 27 confirmed victories in 14 flying days while in Malta. For this, he earned the nicknames...'Falcon of Malta' and 'Knight of Malta'.

That's incredibly amazing, very rare,” said warplane heritage curator, Caillin Kiwalczyk.No one ever really did it that quickly.”

In a CBC radio interview aired on November 13, 1942, reporter Bob Bowman
captured Beurling's personality and dedication, offering advice to young pilots:
           Apply yourself.
           Take in everything that's told to you.
           Don't stop studying.
           Don't stop working. (said the 21 year old)
           Shooting and flying are equally important..
Beurling was known for his deflection shooting...shooting ahead of a moving target so the target and projectile will collide...and said he was writing a book about it.
           It is most important to be able to judge angles and know when to shoot
           when you are coming in on the enemy in a turn...if you can shoot
           when you are coming in, you are a jump ahead.
Beurling told Bowman that flying was second nature to him. He always felt
comfortable in the air, but often wondered when the enemy was coming
right at him, if they would brake or keep coming. Beurling said he didn't break!
I keep shooting and hope he's going to blow up. Usually they get cold feet.

Rick Beurling described his older brother as one of the finest pilots
and marksmen of his time who died too early, at the age of 27.

(He died under mysterious circumstances while testing planes in Rome.)

Merle Baird-Kerr
written September 3, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Inspiring Lady to Remember

The world hasn't just become wicked...it's always been wicked!
The prize doesn't always go to the most deserving.

We have all heard of Mother Teresa...
I ask, “Have you heard of Irena Sendler?”
A True Hero!

There recently was a death of a 98 year-old lady named Irena.
Her endeavours, sent to me from a friend, I wish to share with you.

Irena Sendler (nee Krzyzanowski)
February 15, 1910 ~ May 12, 2008

Early Life: Her father, Stanislaw Krzyzanowski, was a physician. Sendler sympathized with Jews from childhood...since many of his patients were Jews. Irena was a Polish Catholic social worker who served in the Polish Underground and the Zegota resistance organization in German-occupied Warsaw during WWII. As early as 1939 she and her helpers created over 3,000 false documents
to help Jewish families. This was very risky...in German-occupied Poland. All household members risked death if they were found to be hiding Jews, a more severe punishment than in other occupied European countries. Warsaw's Municipal Social Services department, a Polish relief organization,
was tolerated under German supervision.

During WWII, Irena received permission to work in the Warsaw ghetto...under the pretext of conducting inspections of sanitary conditions during a typhus outbreak, then as a Plumbing and Sewer specialist. She had an 'ulterior motive'. She KNEW what the Nazi's plans were for the Jews (being German).

Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried; also, in the back of her truck was a a burlap sack (for larger kids). She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog... and the barking covered the kids'/infants' noises.

These children were placed with Polish families, the Warsaw orphanage of the Sisters of the Family of Mary, or Roman Catholic convents such as the Little Sister Servants of the Blessed Virgin Mary Conceived Immaculate. She rescued between 250 to 550 Jewish children in different education and care facilities.

During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was arrested in 1943...and the Nazis broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out
and kept them in a glass jar buried under a tree in her back yard.

After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and reunited the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped
were placed into foster family homes and adopted.

Awards: In 1965, Sendler was recognized by Yad Vashem
as one of the Righteous among the Nations.
She also was awarded the Commander's Cross by the Israeli Institute.

In 2001, Pope John II sent Sendler a personal letter, praising her wartime efforts. On October 10, 2003, she received the Order of the White Eagle
~ Poland's highest civilian decoration, 
and the Jan Karski Award “For Courage and Heart”,
given by the American Center of Polish Culture
in Washington, D. C. 
On March 14, 2007, Sendler was honoured by Poland's Senate.

Last year, Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize... She was not selected, unfortunately!
President Obama won one year before becoming President
for his work as a community organizer for ACORN
Al Gore won also...for a slide show on Global Warming.

In May 2009, Irena Sendler was posthumously granted the
Audrey Hepburn Humanitarian Award...named in honour of the late actress
and UNICEF ambassador...presented to persons and organizations
recognized for helping children.

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended.
Let us remember: SIX Million Jews...TWENTY Million Russians...
TEN Million Christians and NINETEEN HUNDRED Catholic priests
were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated!

Now, more than ever, with Iran and others claiming
the HOLOCAUST to be “a myth”,
it's imperative to make sure the world never forgets,
because there are others who would like to do it again.

Merle Baird-Kerr
written August 25, 2011

I highly recommend you Google ... "The Irena Sendler Project ...by students of a rural Kansas High School called 'Life in a Jar'.